National Atheists Pride Week

This week (March 20-26) is National Atheists Pride Week.  Who knew?  People who are atheists are encouraged to put an A as their profile picture on Facebook.  No comment on that!
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was my first job.  I was sixteen and worked at a bank.  When filling out an information sheet, I was asked about my religion.  My parents told me to put agnostic, but I couldn't remember the word.  The Vice President of the bank wrote "atheist."  I knew it wasn't right, but she wouldn't change it and word quickly spread amongst my fellow coworkers that were mostly "Catholic" that I was a heathen!
Now it's funny, but at the time, it was very painful and I was ill-equipped to handle the many snide remarks.  Eventually it all died down, but it's interesting now that people are now willing to "wear an A" like I would wear my cross.
These days we're presumably more tolerant of people's beliefs though I think its more acceptable to belittle the Catholic Church then ever before.
One day at work, someone came up to me and launched into a tirade about my wearing a crucifix and maybe they should wear their brother sitting in a wheelchair around their neck!  I stood and listened, while shaking my head and quietly repeating, "I don't think it's the same thing."
If you are rooted in a belief system your life should definitely reflect those beliefs.  I've run into many "Christians" who were so obnoxious and hateful it sucked the life blood right out of me being around them!
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "If Christians lived according to their faith, their would be no more Hindus left in India."  I read in Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver that Gandi was fascinated with the thought of knowing Christ, but when he met Christians, he felt let down.
Faith-filled people can be disappointing.  Those that make fun of Christians and the Catholic Church get a lot of material from our own actions.  I'm fortunate to know some wonderful Catholics who encourage my faith as I encourage theirs.  We live our lives quietly, faithfully and with conviction.
And as the days go by, more people will want to get to know us and thereby also know Christ.

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